Diabetes program saving lives and money

New figures show a Department of Health and Human Services-funded preventive health program is improving lives and reducing the burden of chronic illness in Tasmania.

Analysis of the Diabetes Assist program reveals it has saved over $1.5 million in projected Tasmanian healthcare costs over the past three years.

The free, phone-based coaching service has helped more than 527 Tasmanians effectively manage their type 2 diabetes.

The data shows participants are more active, live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.

Diabetes Assist helpscut healthcare costs and frees up beds by reducing the risk of complications like heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

The data shows an average cost of around $1300 for each participant completing the six-month program – but the projected average savings in GP, individual costs and hospitalisations amounts to over $2900 per person.

The analysis, undertaken by Diabetes Tasmania and the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, illustrates the importance of investing in preventive health programs for the long-term health of the population and healthcare system.

Funded by DHHS, Diabetes Assist is run by Diabetes Tasmania under a consultancy and licence agreement with Diabetes Tasmania and the COACH Program.

Tasmanians 18 years and over can join the program if they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, have significant biomedical risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes or have scored 12 points or more on the AUSDRISK Tool  available online at www.ausdrisk.com.au